Twelve Maoists were killed in the early hours of Tuesday in an encounter with the police in Palamau district of Jharkhand.
“The encounter took place in Bakoria village, about 140 km from Ranchi in the wee hours. All the bodies have been recovered,” Mayur Patel, Superintendent of Police said.
According to initial police reports, the Maoists were moving in two vehicles. While one vehicle sped away, naxals from the other vehicle opened fire on the police.
Following a tip-off from intelligence sources about Maoists’ movement in the district, the CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) battalion and the district police rushed to the spot to combat them.
Additional Director General of Police (Operation) SN Pradhan said, the Maoists got off their vehicle and fired on the policemen as soon as they saw them. In retaliation, the police gunned down 12 rebels.
It was the ‘Dasta’ (firing squad) of CPI (Maoist) ‘zonal commander’ RK alias ‘doctor’, Pradhan explained.
The police has recovered eight weapons from the spot.
A search operation has been launched in the area possibly to locate the other vehicle and the Maoists who managed to escape, Pradhan told the press.
The combat operation was carried out jointly by a team of the specialised CoBRA battalion and the district police.
CoBRA is a specialised unit of the CRPF created in order to combat the insurgents in the country having state-of-the-art equipment like INSAS and AK rifles.
This is a first major incident in Jharkhand after Maoists ambushed a police vehicle in Dumka on April 20 last year when a police party was returning after completing the third phase of Lok Sabha elections. Eight people, including six policemen were killed in the attack.